Do you like to watch movies? Do you like to watch movies that star strong and confident older women? I love watching movies that break the standard narrative surrounding women over 60. Movies that give older women the front seat.
It used to be that women over 60 were automatically dismissed from Hollywood and the film industry. Producers and casting directors seemed to think that older women didn’t have any value to bring to a movie and cast younger women for roles that were intended for older women.
I’m sure glad times have changed and women over 60 and 70 all over the world are changing the narrative for themselves and all women. We are now seen and heard more and more as confident women star in movies and TV series.
Here are a few of my favorite movies starring strong, stylish, and confident women over 60.
Starring the fabulous Meryl Streep in one of her most iconic roles, Miranda Priestly – the illustrious and powerful New York City magazine fashion editor. Andy, played by Anne Hathaway, is an aspiring journalist who lands a job as one of Priestly’s assistants. Andy quickly realizes that she is an outsider in this dog-eat-dog fashion world and quickly learns the ropes by changing her style.
Meryl Streep’s role in The Devil Wears Prada earned her a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
This coming-of-age romantic comedy starring Sally Fields is fresh and a must-watch. Doris is an eccentric woman in her 60s who has lived her entire life with her mother. After the death of her mother, she decides to romantically and awkwardly pursue a young co-worker which lands her in some clumsy situations.
Academy Award winners Judi Dench and Maggie Smith star in this beautiful comedy drama film about a group of British retirees who move to India to live in a luxury hotel. Turns out the hotel is not what they expected, and their lives are forever changed.
Also, the sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) is definitely worth watching as well.
Another great movie with a strong female leading role is Florence Foster Jenkins which is based on a true story and stars Meryl Streep. Set in 1944, Jenkins is ill and wants to pursue her longtime wish of having a singing career. Her singing is, well, not very good, but she manages to get herself on the stage of Carnegie Hall.
The comedy-drama earned a Best Costume Oscar nomination as well as a Best Actress nomination for Meryl Streep’s incredible performance.
Starring Loretta Devine and Ellen Burstyn, Queen Bees is like “Mean Girls, but with medical alert bracelets.” The romantic comedy movie is set in a retirement home where comedic rivalry and budding romances take place.
The Joy Luck Club is an exquisitely beautiful movie about four women who leave their homeland in search of better lives in America. The movie is about the relationship the Chinese immigrant women have with their American-born children.
Jessica Tandy stars in the critically acclaimed movie Driving Miss Daisy, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress. The movie explores the unexpected work/friendship relationship between a Jewish woman in her 70s with an African American man in his 60s.
Alfre Woodard stars in this Netflix movie about a middle-aged woman who leaves her hometown in Ohio to rediscover and reinvent herself. She makes new friends at a native-owned French restaurant and rediscovers her romantic side.
Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candace Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen star in this romantic comedy. The foursome read the book Fifty Shades of Grey as part of their monthly book club and see their lives and personal relationships change.
Watch for the sequel coming out in May 2023: Book Club: The Next Chapter
Calendar Girls is a British comedy starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters. The movie is based on a true story where a group of middle-aged women decides to raise money for Leukemia patients by creating a nude calendar.
Blythe Danner stars as Carol, a widow who lives alone with her dog. After her dog dies, she decides to start dating – from the young pool guy to the charming wealthy older man with a yacht.
Have you watched any of these movies? Which one is your favorite? Do you have any other movies with strong leading women to suggest? Tell us about it in the comments below.
I’ve seen several – watched ‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’ several times…wondering if anyone else can answer this: what message is the movie sending? I loved it & Blythe Danner was awesome. I won’t give away the movie, but wondering…is it just about life…or something deeper? Thanks.
I work as an engagement and lifestyle coordinator for a senior residential community. I have scheduled almost all of these movies…Driving Miss Daisy, in particular, packed our cinema. Just got requests for Queen Bees, 80 for Brady and Nomadland. Women over 60 rock!
Very interesting article! I’ve seen a couple of these movies and seen ad’s for a few others. I think there are quite a few more than these! I went back and watched On Golden Pond again, as well as some of the Diane Keaton movies from the last 10 yrs. I am more interested in retired people & their relationships in movies rather than “strong” aging women. Aging presents many challenges to all of us and there is a quiet subtle strength in many of us.
Me too ! I’ve watched ‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’ several times…it fills the bill for retired people & relationships. If you watch it, I’d love to know what you think about it…I’m trying to figure out if it’s just about seniors & relationships or is there a deeper meaning. The Marigold is easier to figure out (for me). Think I’ve seen all but one. I love Diane Keaton movies too.
Good ones. I also enjoyed Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. Although not over 60 at the time, Mary Steenburgen in Cross Creek, portraying a strong female writer.